OMAN – A Declaration of Love by Sabine Reining

Marhaba! My name is Sabine and I would like to tell you about my fascination for Oman.

It all started during a random layover in Muscat, the capital of Oman, in 2011. To be honest, I did not know much about the Sultanate on the Arabian Peninsula prior to that day, so I was a little annoyed with the inconvenient stop. However, when the pilot prepared for  landing, all of my negative thoughts were blown away at once. With my nose pressed tight against the window, I was looking down at a world of magic, feeling absolutely awestruck. A cyan colored ocean, endless white beaches, clay cottages barely holding on to mountains reaching thousands of kilometers into the sky, green havens next to vast deserts. The photographer in me beamed with joy. How could I not have been aware of a place this amazing and beautiful for all these years? I knew immediately that I would have to come back here someday!

That time had finally come in 2013. Nine days in Oman. Nine days on a foreign continent. Nine days on my own. Nine days seemed reasonable to me. A little daring? Maybe. Too much? No.

As soon as I had met the first Omanis, explored the first Wadis, eaten my first Biryani, every bit of my anxiety was gone and all that was left were exceeded expectations and amazement.  Swift like the desert wind, Oman and its people had put a beautiful spell on me. Soon enough, short trips and vacations alone did not satisfy my wanderlust, and so I made the decision to leave family, work and friends behind to travel the desert state for four months.

Finally setting foot on Omani soil again, in October 2015, I had no idea about how many times my camera would click over the next months. For many years my camera has been my most faithful companion, joining me on numerous trips around the globe. Capturing and preserving moments, movements and landscapes on camera and sharing their magic all over the world is my greatest passion.

When you bring the time and curiosity to explore Oman off the beaten path, it rewards you with plentiful sights that set ablaze a traveler’s heart and camera shutter.

In the middle of gorgeous Wadis and thousand year old frankincense trees the country kept pulling me in more and more. A country that has undergone an unprecedented development over the past 45 years, yet maintained political stability and a strong hold on its traditions. A country whose sheer beauty takes my breath away every time. On a 25.000 kilometer long expedition, my camera and I have explored every inch of the Omani wonderland. Together we’ve laid down on the hot sands of the Wahiba desert and gazed into the infinite depths of the universe. We hiked through 12 spectacular Wadis, stood on top of the 3000 meter high ‘mountain of sun‘ and wandered deserted villages. The Omanis took us on a journey to the past and the future of their country. They’ve allowed us an intimate look at well-kept traditions and have confirmed my conviction that it doesn’t matter where people come from or what they believe in when they share a common perspective. At the rose harvest on Jebel Akhdar, the bull fights in Barka, the crossing of the Empty Quarter and with the honey makers in Wadi Sahtan I’ve got to meet a country that is taking off towards a promising future without losing its past Oman has become my home away from home. A place full of freedom and adventure. A place I would never want to miss again and that will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Ana Bahibak, Oman!

OMAN – A Declaration of Love
by Sabine Reining, 32, Germany